We know that we are not in a position to elect an O.H.O.
All we want is a 'Caliph'
Continuation of the Song of the Whitewash
The history of the Ordo Templi Orientis is an extremely complicated story with its rival claims to "apostolic" succession, mutual recriminations, and expulsions. The following essay describes the history of the american version of the O.T.O., the 'Caliphate', marking the point in time when it turned into a buisness.
The sexmagical Secrets of the O.T.O.-Groups.
The 'Caliphate' under Grady Louis McMurtry died with McMurtry's death
on 12 July 1985. There was a need to elect his successor. This would be
William Breeze who turned the 'Caliphate' (now 'OTO Inc' or 'OTO
International') into a "marketing and sales opportunity directed
towards all Thelemites". According to witnesses, Breeze would not
have met with McMurtry's approval.
[Photo at the right: Grady Louis McMurtry at the birth of the Caliphate in 1977.]
Who were the involved individuals? Some of them have already been
mentioned in the History of the Mysteria Mystica
Maxima, some of the others we will introduce during this essay. Most of the participants were Provisional IX°s until the very moment when McMurtry died. An explanation of Provisional IX° follows below. Most members were Fourth Degree when McMurtry died, no 'full Temple' initiations having ever taken place into the Sixth Degree after the Fourth prior to 1985. |
Although they had previously blamed Karl Germer for not having waited one year (according to misunderstood excerpts taken out of context by Gerald Yorke from The Constitution of the Order of the Thelemites) before 'ruling' over the leftover members of Aleister Crowley's O.T.O., they elected their new 'Caliph' only 2 months after McMurtry's death. Why such a haste? Because the times had changed?
In an O.T.O. Form Letter of July 9th 1974, McMurtry clearly explained his views about the Swiss Outer Head of the Order (OHO) Hermann Joseph Metzger: "Herr Metzger cannot be Outer Head of the Order because his 'election' was only by his own Lodge in Switzerland, a purely national body attempting to effect an international decision. Herr Metzger can also assert that he is the head of his own O.T.O.". Was there any difference between Metzger's Election to OHO by his fully active IX°s to the Election of a 'Caliph' by provisional IX°s who only became full IX°s after McMurtry's death?
Grady Louis McMurtry: the 'Caliphate'
Who were the IX°s in the days of Agape Lodge in the USA (at the moment we are not referring to the Swiss, Brazilian or English OTO groups) ?
Wilfred Talbot Smith — got it either from Charles S. Jones or Jane Wolfe.
Jane Wolfe — direct from Crowley
Grady McMurtry — direct from Crowley
Max Schneider — W.T. Smith
Jean Schneider — got it from Max Schneider
Phyllis Seckler — got it from Germer
Roy Leffingwell — got it from Max Schneider who was ordered by Crowley to go to the desert with the oath and the "Modes and Emblems of Use" due to a vision he had while having sex. Crowley said he was in danger unless he did it properly with these papers, hence the order to Max Schneider to carry out his instructions. — Version: Crowley made Leffingwell a IXth in a letter dated 24 September 1942
Jack Parsons — got it from Smith
Helen Parsons — got it from Smith
Gabriel Montenegro — got it from Leffingwell. He was ordered to pick up the "Modes and Emblems" from Phyllis Seckler when she was late in mailing them back to Karl Germer. This order would not have been given unless Montenegro was a true IX°, due to Germer being a stickler for form and secrecy.
Joe Miller — got it from Jane Wolfe who actually taught him some techniques with physical sex.
Georgia Schneider — got it from Max Schneider
Ray and Mildred Burlingame (see the article on the Solar Lodge of the O.T.O.)
Louis Culling — either from C.F. Russell or from Smith. (Culling chartered the Ordo Templi Astarte in the 70s)
When McMurtry started the 'Caliphate': only two of these IX°s were there to support him, and neither had received the IX° directly from Crowley. These two first had to ask for recognition of membership in McMurtry's new O.T.O.
McMurtry was under the assumption that he was the last surviving member of Grand Lodge after Karl Germer's death. Germer held the title of Grand Treasurer General. On June 16th 1945, McMurtry was chartered by Crowley to be Grand Inspector General (although in his letters and diaries Crowley refers to McMurtry's appointment as Grand Inspector General, no document survives to verify it). McMurtry believed and often stated (as does Breeze) that Grand Lodge OTO doesn't have an actual 'location': just chartered individuals (but why now do they have geographically defined Grand Lodges today?). At one time Crowley was the Head of his version of the Order, Germer was Grand Treasurer and McMurtry was Grand Inspector General. Wherever these individuals lived, that's where their office was and they acted accordingly. Agape Lodge No. 2 was closed by Germer in 1953 but this was not considered a 'Grand Lodge'.
In the above mentioned Form Letter dated July 9th 1974 McMurtry clearly also stated, "There is at present no Outer Head of the Order for Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis. The Outer Head of the Order is an international office (see p. 201, The Blue Equinox) and Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis is not at this time established organizationally to fulfill the requirements of its Constitution in this respect."
In 1977 Grady McMurtry began celebrating the Gnostic Mass for the first time since the Agape Lodge had been closed in 1953, and held some of the first initiations into the 'Caliphate' since the Kaaba Clerk House days of the early seventies (most notable, pre-1977 was the DuQuettes). Eight people were initiated into the Minerval Degree on April 19th, one of them being William Heidrick (born August 9th 1948) who would later become the Grand Treasurer General of the 'Caliphate'. In early May, Michael Ripple from Syracuse wrote to McMurtry after finding his address on the back of the Thoth Cards (which earlier was considered by Gerald Yorke as "Caliphate nonsense"). After receiving a reply, he and his wife took initiation on May 21st. Also in May of 1977 McMurtry released the first issue of his official "O.T.O. Newsletter", Volume I, No. 1. It was originally designed to get the word out about the 'Caliphate' and to let everyone know that there was a place "where all Thelemites can come together in harmony" and "thus bringing us to the fulfillment of Aleister Crowley's dream."
Also a member of BOTA, William Heidrick took: Minerval 4/19/77, First 4/18/78, five months later he took Provisional IXth 9/25/78, Second 4/30/79, Third 5/26/79, Fourth 7/31/80, Fifth 9/3/83 (on Thelema Lodge) and then directly jumped to Full IXth on 7/12/85 (in the same moment when McMurtry died).
"Provisional IX°" is not a "fully active" IX°, McMurtry never made any full IX°.
The term "provisional" is found only in the official 'Caliphate' Minutes or as 'conditional' as Heidrick recorded them in the computer records of the 'Caliphate'. Although everyone knew about the provisional nature (and discussed it in writing), McMurtry never gave out an official document for 'provisional'. Each individual received a Charter only up to the degree in which he or she received an actual initiation in a Temple. McMurtry created "Provisionals" for several reasons. First, to make sure in case of any unforeseen accidents, like his death, the 'Caliphate' would survive. All the Provisional Documents end with a line, which begins with "And upon my death ...." which basically says why, when McMurtry died, all the Provisionals automatically became full IXths. This ruling body of regional [!] Ninth Degree members could then meet in an official capacity in time of an emergency and vote upon a new 'Caliph'. Thus the Order would not die. Second, creating 'Provisional Ninths' helped to establish an inner core of Ninth Degree Members to show the Courts in California that the 'Caliphate' was more than just Grady McMurtry. In reminiscence of his war days McMurtry wrote, "The IXth Degree promotions are in the nature of Battle Field Promotions." These 'promotions' were not necessarily of magical training regarding the Ninth degree secret but more so for political reasons. In fact it is still argued today whether or not McMurtry taught magick to any of these Ninths, especially those whom he didn't fully trust. Third, did McMurtry, according to the Order's rule, sign the Oath of the IX°? (Kenneth Grant, who was never formally made a member of O.T.O. by Crowley, was accepted by Karl Germer as such upon signing the oath of the IXth degree.)
If one looks carefully at the Constitution of Crowley's O.T.O., you will discover that the IX° is not at all a political body. They seem to act more as guides for the younger members, and it is stated that they move quietly and unknown among the least of 'us'. Therefore, some thought it a mistake to have produced such a body of political IX°s who know nothing of the secret workings.
Heidrick, who did all the computer entering, avoided use of the term 'Provisional', so his entry reads: "9/25/78 IXth conditional." In fact, all Provisionals are called Conditional in Heidrick's files. However, everywhere else the degree is always called what McMurtry said it was, or "Provisional." In theory, they were not meant to become full Ninths until they took every degree that they were missing up to the Ninth. Allegedly, the day before McMurtry died (7/12/85) they were all 'elevated up' from conditional to full ninths but no official documentation was ever given because McMurtry was in the hospital dying. Breeze simply 'acknowledged' what had transpired earlier when he became 'Caliph'. For the record: Before McMurtry died on 12th July 1985, Phyllis Seckler (who took 0° on 8/22/39) and Helen Parsons Smith (0° on 2/15/41) were full Ninths but others who are listed as 'Conditional IXths' in the official computer records are James Graeb, Lon DuQuette, Andrea Lacedonia, Lola DeWolfe, James Esheleman, James Wasserman, Sharon Morton, Michael and Michelle Ripple.
Regarding his bishopric, Heidrick published in August 1996: "Around 1981 e.v., we (Grady McMurtry, myself and some others in OTO) had just completed filing of OTO papers for incorporation with the state of California. ...we set up a separate EGC corporation, without requirement of OTO membership below the level of board of directors. That one we filed as a formal and simple "church" with no fraternal qualifications or language — in effect OTO was a religious order and EGC was a public membership church available outside OTO membership as well as a religious chapel aspect of OTO proper. ... I was made a bishop by laying on of hands in the back seat of the car taking us to the notary to get the papers witnessed and signed. ... About a year later we read a little more law and discovered that OTO did qualify as a religious entity by its own nature in terms of tax law. We amended the OTO articles to reflect that as the declared primary purpose. No problems with IRS or the Franchise Tax Office (California equivalent to the IRS)."
Sharon Morton was made a provisional IX° during Heidrick's I° initiation. Due to his physical incapability where McMurtry was falling over and just prior to him passing out, Sharon Morton asked him to make her a IX°, so that the ceremony could go on. McMurtry did the laying on of hands thing, and passed out cold.
William Breeze (born August 12, 1955) took Minerval in August of 1978. He "joined OTO as much out of concern for the direction the organization might take as for a desire to belong to a fraternity". On 20 June 1981 he became McMurtry's "personal envoy ... International Coordinator ... opening diplomatic relations with such branches of O.T.O. as exist abroad" and acted "as the Caliph's personal representative ... for the Dominion of Canada". He took Minerval — August 1978 in Canada; First Degree — at LaShtal Lodge, NY, NY — 4/5/79; Second Degree — at Tahuti Lodge, NY, NY — 11/1/80; Third Degree — at Ra-Hoor-Khuit Lodge, Syracuse, NY — 7/8/81; Fourth & PI — at Tahuti Lodge, NY, NY - 1/19/85, obviously, just before McMurtry's death. He assumed full Ninth upon his election on 9/21/85.
James T. Graeb was the only local 'Caliphate' Upper Degree whom McMurtry could trust with legal matters (he's a lawyer). McMurtry's Last Will and Testament dated June 26 1985, reads
"FIRST: I revoke all Wills and Codicils which I have previously made... THIRD: It is my intention by this Will to dispose of all my property, and all property in which I have any interest, including all real property, personal property, intangible property, and any property over which I have power of appointment. FOURTH: I give the following property to the following groups and people: 1. To the Ordo Templi Orientis (herein called "Order"), located in Emeryville, California, I give my entire library, containing both academic and metaphysical books, all my paintings, all those items which directly or indirectly involve or concern the Order and/or its members or Aleister Crowley, my silver ring with the hawk on it, and the metal box kept under my bed in the bedroom of my current residence; ... 3. I leave the rest and residue of my estate to James Graeb so that he may fairly dispose of it among those friends of mine, including James Graeb, who may be interested in any position of it. ... EIGHTH: It is my desire that the Order's Supreme Council elect the successor Caliph for the Ordo Templi Orientis."
|The Certificate of Death, dated July 12, 1985 mentions in section "20. Name and Address of Informant — Relationship": James T. Graeb - Friend.|
Eventually, section 4;3 of McMurtry's Last Will and Testament was
considered by Graeb and Helen Parsons Smith to the effect that Graeb
was a temporary X° heading the ex-"Provisional Ninths" in the election
process. It is noteworthy that McMurtry's Last Will does not make
use of the expression "OHO of the O.T.O.".|
'Caliphate' Minutes 6/22/85 Resolution #528. Begins, quote: "In the event of the death, resignation, or permanent incapacity of the Caliph, the call to the IXth Degrees to convene and elect the successor shall be by certified mail within thirty one (31) days of the loss of the Caliph, fixing the date of the convocation to be no less than thirty one (31) nor more than sixty two (62) days after the date of notice."
The term 'Provisional' died the day McMurtry did.
'Caliphate' Minutes 7/20/85 Resolution #534, Begins, quote: "The Chancellor moved that he call the meeting of the IX Members on the 21st of September ..." Everyone agreed. The Chancellor was James T. Graeb.
|Several of the electing ex-provisional IX°s had explicitely been forbidden to become active in the 'Caliph' election: McMurtry had issued a "Note of Nullification" on 6 August 1977 when he "announce, destroy, nullify, set aside, dispose of, and cast into oblivion any and all documents, dispositions, dispensations and/or other articles of authorization to elect a Successor to me as Caliph signed by me before this date". McMurtry explicitly named: Phyllis Seckler, Helen Parsons Smith, K.G.D. and Lon Milo Duquette.|
This Nullification was never nullified after. Seckler and Smith, although the only fully activated IX° were considered 'outsiders' and would not be 'officially recognized' until the eighties (in fact, they had to ask for recognition of membership in the 'Caliphate' which makes the 'Caliphate' definitely a new OTO
version) and then brought back into the fold for the Court trials with Marcelo Ramos Motta.
"The Caliph passed on, the Caliphate is closed"
James A. Eshelman joined the 'Caliphate' in 1979, became the vice-'Caliph' upon the election of Breeze and left the group (that is the firm 'OTO Inc.' or 'OTO International') stating in April 1997: "I believe their point of view — at least that of H.B. [Breeze], though I doubt he would ever admit it in words resembling these — is that he is willing to sacrifice the spiritual development of the present generation (since it's impossible to reform the post-Grady version of the Order anyway) in order to lay the best foundation for the spiritual growth of humanity for the next couple of thousand years." And Eshelman added: "O.T.O. is just a club. A simple club. A wholly mundane thing. Its fate is in no sense tied into that of the Aeon itself."
Today, Eshelman is fully cooperating with the A.·. A.·. of Phyllis Seckler (Jane Wolfe lineage), founder of the College of Thelema and in 1987 he had founded the Temple of Thelema as a specialized initiating curriculum within the College of Thelema, "to accomplish a kind of work that the O.T.O. does not do, and probably never will".
But which Order will? — As Breeze's firm called 'OTO Inc.' or 'OTO International' seems to be a sort of battleground of the A.·. A.·.: What is the A.·. A.·.?
The A.·. A.·. is divided into three sections on the Tree of Life. The first being the "Golden Dawn". This should not be confused with McGregor Mather's "The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn". Crowley never established his version of the "Golden Dawn" in his life-time, although some have suggested that the O.T.O. in Crowley's mind was to fulfill this 'outer extension.' If you pass into the next stage you become a member of the "Rose Croix". The third and final stage is "Silver Star". It is only in the "Silver Star" that one becomes a true initiate of the A.·. A.·. that is: Here, there can be no official mundane organization on this plane. It is within the "Golden Dawn" that an individual can be expelled. The big question is, "Does expulsion mean from the whole A.·. A.·. or just a given branch?"
William Heidrick thinks that the "OTO owns the A.·. A.·. related Crowley copyrights" and "living members must sponsor and a chartered initiator must initiate according to external rules for O.T.O. membership" as the A.·. A.·. "is an Inner Order, the latter is an Outer Order".
William Breeze thought that after "Germer's death, Motta effectively held all of the offices [of the A.·. A.·.] as he was the only officer alive". But when Marcelo Motta (8=3) had dismissed Breeze as a failed probationer in June 1976, he decided — according to his own words to Marcelo Santos — to form a link to "the A.·. A.·. proper" and hit back that Motta gave up his authority to govern the A\A.·. previously in 1975 by commenting on Liber AL.
Phyllis Seckler had 'expelled' McMurtry from her Jane Wolfe A.·. A.·. lineage back in 1979 although McMurtry had assumed the 9=2 in 1977 and Seckler was only a 5=6. Breeze was not able to join either the Wolfe or the McMurtry lineage (eventually alluding that Phyllis Seckler was not very well-trained) and having no links to the many other A.·. A.·. lineages all over the world, e.g. Arnoldo Krumm-Heller's (8=3) or Charles W.'s (5=6), Friedrich Mellinger's, etc. he still had to find another tie, although Liber Causae says that the A.·. A.·. knocks but once at one's door.
Harry Smith, born 1923, a friend of Karl Germer (8=3), began A.·. A.·. work with Charles Stansfeld Jones (1885-1950, Magister Templi, some say Magus) and Albert Handel around 1950. But as this survivorship of Jones came after Crowley had expelled Jones, some people consider this lineage as invalid. Nevertheless, from 1978 on, William Breeze living part-time together with the 'American Magus' Smith, and admired him as "my guru, friend and guide" (similarly did James Wasserman who never went above Probationer in Motta's A.·. A.·.). After Breeze became head of his 'Caliphate' he immediately began bringing people into his A.·. A.·.. This was 1985.
After Grady McMurtry's death in 1985, the pertinent A.·. A.·. had splintered into 'at least' three lineages, run by J. Edward Cornelius, William Heidrick and James T. Graeb. Therefore, the 'Caliphate' under Breeze became a battleground for Breeze's new A.·. A.·. (sometimes mistaken for Motta's A.·. A.·.) vs. McMurtry's A.·. A.·..
Harry Smith died in 1991. Around this time, James Daniel Gunther came forward as an A.·. A.·. leader with a Charter by Marcelo Motta (although Gunther had resigned by letter when he was 4=7). On the 18th July 1976, Gunther, Wasserman and Richard Gernon had left Motta and his A.·. A.·.: both Wasserman and Gernon did so in order to join McMurtry's 'Caliphate'.
In the back of the books which Breeze has published, such as 'Magick (Liber ABA)' in late 1994 Breeze's A.·. A.·. officially showed itself to the public with an advertisement and contact details. In 'The Commentaries on The Holy Books' (1996) one got a first official mention of Martin Starr's involvement. In a piece entitled 'Liber Vesta' (not written by Crowley) they listed on the inside, Frater V as 7=4 (Gunther), Frater VV as 6=5 (Breeze) and Frater SUA as 5=6 (Starr with his address as Cancellarius).
After the 9th Circuit of Appeals Court decision that had ruled in favour of McMurtry and which Starr had shown favour of McMurtry over Motta, Starr expressed that Metzger had more claim to the OHO than anyone else, "certainly over McMurtry," although "I now believe that Germer did intend to appoint Motta the O.H.O. on his deathbed". About the 'Caliphate' he also stated after the trial that "they have distorted and falsified the facts to serve their purposes".
There is a letter to Euclydes Lacerda de Almeida (recognized a 2=9 by Motta) in which Starr speaks of his 1=10. In April 2000, Starr threatened Lacerda's ISP, and forced them to remove a letter from 1995 in which Starr recognized Lacerda as the highest A.·. A.·. degree in Brazil.
Apart from the fact that many people assume that true Premonstration died out with Gerald Yorke in 1985 (although Yorke had left the A.·. A.·. in 1932 or 1933), there are several not yet mentioned A.·. A.·. lineages: "The Brothers of the A.·. A.·. refuse none. They have no objection to anyone claiming to be one of Themselves. If he does so, let him abide by it," 'Voice of the Silence' III.24. This means that there are many A.·. A.·. connections — but are they really tied?
Successorship of C.F. Russell via Louis Culling: Culling, in fact, was never admitted by Russell into the A.·. A.·, rather he was accepted by Crowley himself as a Probationer but it is worth noting Crowley had actually expelled Russell.
There are rumors of a Frank Bennett (5=6) lineage but there are no suvirving documents.
Hermann Joseph Metzger.
Others from Motta's lineage: William Barden, Ben Stone, David Bersson, Ray Eales ...
A couple of people are claiming a Francis Regardie link. Though Regardie was admitted as a Probationer, and though he did personally carry out all the rest of the curriculum through Adeptus Minor, he and Crowley separated before he went to 1=10 and he never claimed to be an A.·. A.·. member at all.
There is a rumour of an A.·. A.· line from Jack Parsons * Marjorie Cameron * Kenneth Anger * Anton LaVey * Michael Aquino. But Aquino corrected the rumour in April 2000: "Anton LaVey never claimed to be an initiate of either the A.·. A.·. or the O.T.O. Neither have I."
More on Parsons in Nikolas and Zeena Schreck: Demons of the Flesh.
Independent A.·. A.·. Lineages
Aleister Crowley released all of his A.·. A.·. material to the world. The information was never meant to remain hidden or secret. He did this for one major reason. He believed that if a person never had the opportunity to meet someone within the Order, they could, in theory, do the practices and make the connections themselves to the current which runs through the Order. The only requirement being, "success is thy proof."
We will go only into one of the many A.’.A.’. linages, the one that is connected to the “Caliphate”.
In 1981, Michael D. Eschner, a self-proclaimed re-incarnation of Aleister Crowley, founded the A.·. A.·. in Berlin, Germany. Towards the end of that year, Marcus M. Jungkurth became a Neophyte and in autumn 1982 he reached the grade of Zelator and worked as a "2. Vorsitzender" for the incorporated version of this A.·. A.·.. At one time, he had contacted a lawyer regarding the question of Crowley copyrights and eventually 'translated' 15 of Crowley's books into German (many think he simply copied Metzger's earlier translations) which still can be bought in every occult bookstore. In Summer 1983, Jungkurth moved into the Abbey Thelema in Berlin where he led a group of candidates. Some of the members recalled of the time that his appearance was like a "mystic" and was very useful in attracting newcomers.
But one day in the Autumn of 1983, Jungkurth just simply left the group overnight.
A little later, Eschner (like H.J. Metzger in the early 1970s) became the focus of the media as members began filing law suits against him. Jungkurth then served as a loyal witness for Eschner and his testimony proved very positive for him. Nevertheless, in 1987, the Court found Eschner guilty.
In the meantime, Jungkurth became a member of the 'Caliphate' on 18 July 1987. He moved rapidly upwards and is currently a IX°. When David Scriven's (X° USA) wife, Helena, resigned as the Secretary General in 1999, Jungkurth took over this rôle. He had inherited some money round the end of the 80s (his father had been a general in the German army) and is working for a large chemistry works. His public appearance is serious, which is considered perfect by the 'Caliphate' for membership fishing.
The Fruits Today
James Wasserman, born in 1948, worked at Samuel Weiser's and has played a key rôle in numerous publications by the 'Caliphate' under Breeze.
Phyllis (McMurtry) Seckler who once labelled the 'Caliphate' as being "not the real O.T.O." and who changed her tune when offered a lodge of her own still does not like what's 'going on' in the new 'Caliphate' (that is 'OTO Inc' or 'OTO International').
H.P. Smith who had "urged" Breeze's election now claims that the 1985 Election was a OHO Election as the expression "Caliph" "was Grady's personal nom de plume". Mail addressed to her Thelema Publication land on the desk of Martin Starr.
Bacuzzi caused a lot of trouble among new members at the end of the 1980s and seems to be quieted as well.
James Graeb's "rights and powers" to initiate had been nullified by Breeze on 8 January 1989 and only when in 1992 Graeb handed over all McMurtry material he still possessed his rights and powers were restored. Graeb obviously considered himself still to be the President of the body of the electoral Ninths and suggested that Breeze had no authority on such body as Breeze lacks jurisdiction. Graeb also considers himself to be the acting head of the XI° which he had inherited from Patrick King scribbled on a napkin (see my Rocket To Uranus). Allegedly, Breeze wanted King to give him the Xl°, but King refused. Breeze was furious, since he considered the Xl° to be the "Inner Head ". It escalated to the point where King knew he was getting expelled, for not giving this degree to Breeze. Two days before King was expelled, Jim Graeb and Patrick King met in a bar in San Francisco, called the Rose and Thistle. King gave Graeb all his papers, and the scribbled all authority to the XI° on a napkin. This looked to be the only way to "save the day", and keep the degree from Breeze's hands.
Breeze himself has adopted another XI°. Maybe his claims run parallel to his Episcopal Succession through Michael Paul Bertiaux. Basically, Bertiaux made Jack B. Hogg Jr. a Bishop in 1968/70 and Hogg (who's house Breeze lived in, in North Carolina after leaving New York) turned around and made Breeze a Bishop on August 12th 1974. Eventually Breeze identified himself to Heidrick as the representative of the Franco-Haitian O.T.O. (that is, Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua). Bertiaux: "Bill Breeze does have valid initiation but it is irregular.". Heidrick on the other hand considered this to be a Magical Battle and has since ridiculed the OTOA.
William Breeze, born in France, studied music in New England and became a computer designer founding his own firm in the early 1980s. In 1985 he co-founded 'Mystic Fire Video' which he left in 1993 to solely concentrate on his firm "OTO Inc." or "OTO International" although he still owns '93 Publishing'. Late 1999 Breeze left the USA and moved to Europe, first to London, and now in Berlin.
According to some insiders, the Austin 'Caliphate' members are under legal investigation for various matters. The official version is, that allegedly Breeze left Texas because he was being threatened by XXX whom some people were worried was capable of doing harmful things. Especially considering the individual made threats andd stalked Breeze and had actually been seen casing his house. Since Breeze allegedly was moving anyway to set up a European International Headquarters (that is, he considers HQ everywhere where he is), he just moved the date forward a few months.
Heidrick is active on the Internet as sort of a "spin doctor" as some say although Breeze has another man who signs as "O.T.O. Assistant Secretary, Internet Affairs, I am authorized to act in this matter" now: Kjetil Fjell from Trondheim, Norway.
William Breeze has written a VII° ritual as he had no access to the original Crowley-VII°-O.T.O. initiation ritual which remains in private possession.
'The' O.T.O. version under Breeze has changed a lot and, as with any organization, he has a right to as he is its chief. The correct question to ask is whether or not his group has any resemblance to what Crowley (or Theodor Reuss) intended. Breeze vehemently claims to be the successor not only of Carl Kellner (who never was a member of any O.T.O.), but also of Reuss and Crowley (although Reuss had expelled Crowley from the O.T.O. back in 1921).
In 1996 William Breeze made David Scriven the X° of the US (after reading the Minutes of the Election to 'Caliph' one wonders on what ground). Fees and dues rose as well as a lot of sub-sections popped up like mushrooms: "Translator's Guild", "Thelemic Writer's Guild" (no evidence that this Guild meets the criteria of a professional guild), "Psychology Guild of O.T.O." (everything related to 'OTO Inc' should be removed, as Attorney Glenn Hauer proposed), "Order of the Lion", giving out "Orders of the Golden Watch" and "Orders of the Eagle"; he introduced services like: Baptism Ceremony for a Child, Baptism Ceremony for an Adult, Confirmation Ceremony, Ceremony for Ordination of a Deacon, A Wedding Ceremony, A Ceremony for a Greater Feast for Death, A Basic Exorcism Rite (there seems to be a growing emphasis on exorcism), A Ceremony for Visitation and Administration of the Virtues to the Sick; they have a new Saintship (no women appear on this list: in rare occurrences there is a list of female saints that have been used in special performances of the gnostic mass) and Animal Benefactions.With all of these new rites they contribute to the McDonaldisation of Occulture.
In November 1997, he introduced changes in the Bylaws, especially regarding the X°: "The X° has the responsibility to designate his or her successor, which designation is subject to veto by the Frater Superior (FS)." (November 1997)
The Vilatte-'apostolic succession' line that Breeze claimed until 1990 turned out to be bogus, in 1993. Scriven was seeking consecration as a Bishop under Bishop Robert Cokinis and Bishop John Cole (both EGA).
Nevertheless Scriven continuted to seek consecration into the EGA and in 1996 found so through Jorge Rodriuez.
Rodriguez was consecrated an EGA bishop by Roger St.-Victor Herard. Rodriguez later left the EGA to found his own church, Eglise Catholica Apostolica Orthodoxa. He caused quite a lot of problems for the EGA and the fact that he his leaving of the EGA was welcomed. The consecration by Rodriguez is not considered valid by any EGA bishops. Rodriguez has been working outside the guise of the E.G.A., so the E.G.A feel that he does not have the right to be making Gnostic Bishops even though he shares the same succession that they share. To quote a passage from Bishop Hoeller "We ordain clergy for our own jurisdiction and not for "independent" activities on their own. The Ecclesia has no interest in expansion for its own sake, rather it prefers to have a few parishes led by properly trained priests of true Gnostic commitment." The EGA has very stringent regulations for consecration (e.g. above mentioned issue of Intent). Also, the bull of election is most important. For a valid consecration, there must be a bull of election signed by at least three EGA Bishops. Rodriguez did not even initiate a bull of election for Scriven at all. — It is no wonder that only Jack B. Hogg Jr. and Jorge Rodriguez are named as "Bishops in Amity" in the official list of the active 'Caliphate'-Gnostic Church members.
James Thomas Graeb, born February 6th 1954, passed away on July 26th 2012. His body was found on August 8th 2012. He was just 58 years old.
X° in Switzerland
In the December 1977 issue of his official "O.T.O. Newsletters" McMurtry "recognizes [Metzger's] standing as Rex Summus Sanctissimus in Switzerland", that is X°. William Heidrick in a letter to John Symonds, 9 September 1985: "Unfortunately, many letters and a court decision affirm that Germer became the O.H.O. ... Xth Degrees could not be kicked out." — Nevertheless in 1992, Breeze posthumously disentitled Metzger's "X°". Of course, every O.H.O. can change the rules, the statutes and constitutions, but according to the Minutes of the 'Caliph' Election: Breeze is not the O.H.O. Excerpt from the correspondence with David Scriven, 1996 K: Why does the 'Caliphate' need to make five X° in order to elect himself an own OHO? Why five? Why not accept the vote of all those other still living X° (e.g. Grant, Toca, or Fraeulein Aeschbach, or Motta's successors, or or or or)? S: The number five was, I believe, established by the voting members when the Bylaws were written. They do not need to be X° made by the Caliph. Any individual who can demonstrate a legitimate claim to X° from Reuss, Crowley or Germer would also be eligible. We will also consider others who have less definite credentials, if they are capable and willing to work with us. We have discussed Fraeulein Aeschbach, she has been invited to vote; I believe she has declined. S:---We have met with Soror Chokhmah [Annemarie Aeschbach] of the Swiss O.T.O., and she is fully aware of our intentions. She has been invited--- K: Why do YOU invite? S: Who else? S:---to participate in the election--- K: Why SHE? Metzger did not leave neither written Last Will nor an oral designation of successor. Is she a X°? Made by what? S: She is viewed by the remaining members of her organization as its leader. S:---if she so chooses. If we can find any other individuals who can produce papers demonstrating a legitimate claim to the X° of O.T.O. from the hand of an OHO (Reuss, Crowley or Germer),--- K: Can she? As I showed, the Reuss charter to Hofmann and Linke (please note the correct spelling!) dated 1918 was a fake made by Metzger. S: Do you believe _anyone_ can? S:---we will also invite them to participate. We have always been willing to recognize any authority in O.T.O. when the claimant can produce valid and legitimate documentation. ...At this time, we have established very friendly relations with Soror Chokhmah and her associates, and hope to work closely with them in the future. K: This is hard to believe (because they have said a lot in the past) and I will check that soon. S: I hope you will refrain from misrepresenting my statements to them. "Friendly relations" means nothing more than precisely that at this time. We have made no agreements, and there are significant differences between our systems. K: Re Fraeulein Aeschbach and your alleged "friendly contacts": I have checked that and am really amused ... S: What an unfriendly and annoying thing for you to say. K: e) Frl. Aeschbach is reckoned to be Head of the Swiss OTO and a proper X°. simply because "the majority" of the Swiss members support her as leader, S: When did I say we reckoned her to be a "proper X°"? We have made no such judgment. [AFTERWORD, 1997: If not "proper", what other sort is there? And if none, why bring her up to begin with, since she is then effectively no more than one of the Swiss O.T.O.'s ordinary, though long-standing/senior members?] [APPENDIX, 1997: Heidrick's comment and reaction to the Swiss OTO: "They were doing fine just last year. Nice place, attentive membership, all of that. I do have the impression that they don't like lime-light or quite as much fuss as we experience. Basically good people. Metzger's successor is a venerable and sociable older soror. The younger members seem well balanced. ... If you contact them, don't mention me initially. It would complicate things if there was a confusion." [sic!] Hal von Hofe, in April 2000: In late 1999, [X] told me about a letter Breeze had sent to Annemarie Aeschbach (who sort of runs the Swiss group) to sign, acknowledging him [Breeze] as O.H.O. I indicated that I thought that was rather rude and impertinent of him + that was A. Aeschbach's reaction exactly, and she had no intention of signing such a thing. Then a month or so after that she had rewritten the letter, taking out all mention of O.H.O., but agreeing not to pursue copyright if the Warburg Crowley collection were made available on microfiche, and sent it signed for Breeze to sign. This was the 'bargain', such as it was: Breeze would give the Swiss access to the Warburg files and the Swiss would agree not to pursue copyright. A couple of weeks later [he] told me that Breeze had signed it as well. I believe the letter also emphasized the independence of the Swiss as a 'research group of the O.T.O.' (O.T.O. Forschungsgruppe). In November 1999 the Swiss OTO received a copy of the Koenig/Naylor OTO book from Koenig with an inscription to them. At the same time, Annemarie Aeschbach had also just recently been informed by Breeze that due to a coming court battle over copyright with Koenig/Naylor he has been temporarily locked out of the Warburg files and thus there can be no microfiche of the Crowley materials for a while. [Annotation by P.R. Koenig: In the meantime, things have cooled a bit between the Swiss OTO and "OTO International" (that is, the Caliphate under Breeze). The letter, re: copyright & Warburg AC material, has become somewhat moot, since the Caliphate has not fulfilled its side of the bargain, such as it was: as yet they have received nothing from Breeze in the way of said Crowley files. In any case, the Swiss have no intentions of any future official dealings with the 'Caliphate' OTO.] Annotation: Whatever the legal issue towards copyrighted Crowley material is: everything that Crowley had published prior to 1923 is in public domain.
Parsonage allowance for the Frater Superior
Excerpt from the "Minutes of the Secret Areopagus of the VIII° held on Saturday, April 24, 1999. The Meeting was held in San Anselmo, CA with the following "Epopts" in attendance: William Breeze, William Heidrick, Lynn Scriven, David Scriven, Lon DuQuette, Gary Gage-Cole, Judy Sun, James Wasserman, James Graeb, Sharon Morton, Kent Finne, Rodney Orpheus. Represented by proxy: Clive Harper, Alan Miller, Arild Stromsvag, Marcus M. Jungkurth, Phyllis Seckler, Constance DuQuette. Following members did not attend: Helen P. Smith, Andrea Bacuzzi, Kenneth Anger (as a friend of Breeze, Anger jumped directly to the IX°), Anthony Iannotti, Jerry Cornelius, Lola De Wolfe, Norbert Straet. Guests: François Cartier, Lisa Collins, Adam Kessler.
MOTION: to authorize the Supreme Council to establish an annual Parsonage allowance and Ministerial Allowance for the Frater Superior. Beginning with the 1999 calendar year, this allowance shall supersede the previous resolution from the 1994 meeting, and shall be considered compensation. The Parsonage Allowance is to conform with IRS Publication 517 (Parsonage Allowances), and the ministerial allowance is not to exceed 93% of the US Federal poverty rate. ... 17 Ayes, Breeze abstained. Motion carried. A note on the VIIIth degrees
In truth all VIIIth Degree meetings (Areopagus) are attended by every single IXth who is listed as an VIIIth for the meeting. Under Breeze a IXth is the sum total of all degrees below and they have the right to be at the Areopagus. It seems to be Breeze's way of keeping control because the VIIIth Degree Council according to the new 'Caliphate' Constitution holds great power over EVERY decision making body in the 'Caliphate'. It can veto anything. In 1989 Jerry Cornelius was still the only official VIIIth Degree.
The explosion of VIIIths began in the mid nineties. Why not before 1985? It's obvious, Grady McMurtry felt the grade had serious magickal consequences and required elemental practice, devotion & etc. Not everyone was prepared for such a task. However, all this was thrown out by Breeze who reduces the degree to simply a fraternal handout. Thus, he gives it out like water.
There was no actual initiation ritual they went through. Being Ninths they simply took over the Eighth Degree council.
Also, some of the 'Caliphate' Ninths have gone back through some of the degrees to take the initiations for the experience.
The document that you are going to read is an interesting example of "collective suppression" (one minor example: how 11 people elected a 'Caliph' at 11:11 pm, and though Eshelman vainly points out that they received the phone call to the room at 11:09, Heidrick tells Eshelman it's a problem with his watch: and no one else remarks).
The "Minutes of the Special Ninth Degree Caliphate Election, Held September 20/21, 1985" do not contain 'everything'. It is only the final official records of meeting on the final given day which elected Breeze. Everything was haggled over for days; in meetings, phone calls and behind the scene. The records don't reflect much of the 'dirt' as to how Breeze was actually elected. It was not unanimous (actually being 8:3 for Breeze) at all. Most of Phyllis Seckler's A.·. A.·. initiates fought, wanting themselves or their students to be 'Caliph' while Motta's ex-A.·. A.·. had a united front. Breeze, Heidrick and Eshelmann were just the final three candidates who were still standing after all the haggling. Thus Motta's ex-A.·. A.·. won and for, quote, "the sake of the Order" the others simply agreed. Eventually at other times at other places, in front of witnesses Breeze seems to joke about when Phyllis Seckler dies he can finally go after Eshelman and eliminate that lineage of the A.·. A.·.
Some might argue that there is no relevance in what people 'know' in comparison to what they 'believe' (e.g. did Grady Louis McMurtry know that there were no IX°s outside the US or did he only believe it?) but the transcript that follows also is evidence of consciously and outspokenly twisting and misrepresenting facts against better knowledge and understanding.
Several days before the election took place, William Heidrick stated in
a letter to Kenneth Grant that "All we want out of Symonds is his
signature on a document accepting our claim to being O.T.O." In
other words, the 'Caliphate' exactly was/is aware that there are several rivalling O.T.O. groups around the world and that their own group has no supremacy over the other versions and that John Symonds [at that time] possesses the copyrights on Aleister Crowley. The High Court of Justice in London had granted the "property and effects (including copyrights)" of Aleister Crowley to John Symonds in 1971 which was only a confirmation of an earlier grant dated 1949.
[More legal discussion]
Concerned members noted some alarming facts in the Minutes:|
— The involved parties always knew that the 'Caliph' is not the OHO (de jure or de facto, it doesn't matter, as there is no de facto OHO in the Order's official papers);
— They always knew that only the Xths could vote for OHO;
— Although they knew that Breeze was not the OHO, they started planning to take the brand new Order to other countries;
— They admitted that there was a time when possessing "Emblems and Modes of Use" was acknowledgment of being a IX°. So Marcelo Motta was right when he stated that his having a copy was a sign of his membership into these degree.
Another one adds: "The election transcript de-mysticises the office of 'Caliph' for me (even more than it already had been). The name H.B. was selected not because it was the best name, but because it was easy to think up. It is never clearly shown that Caliph = OHO, but that is how I perceived it 10 years ago and I think that is how we were meant to see it. Essentially, this transcript further reinforces the view that 'Caliphate' OTO tries to make their claim to be the 'true' OTO appear more valid than it really is, although they themselves know better."
An individual who wants to remain anonymous comments on the Minutes: This transcript reflects no spirituality, only projections of wishful thinking: 'We do not have an OHO and we are not capable of electing one. So we make ourselves temporarily able of electing a temporary OHO who is not the OHO but the 'Caliph' (pssht, secretly we consider him to be the OHO) — eventually we lose our temporal power. We keep this all to ourselves because we are 'friends' and because we are afraid that other 'friends' might elect another chief. Let's make those who have to write the transcript down also temporarily able "not to elect the OHO but the 'Caliph'" (that is, IX°)" in order they keep their mouth shut.'
An outsider remarked as far as the legal issues are concerned with the Minutes that the California Model Business Code had to be checked to see what is required of Board Members of a charitable institution.
There is a website you can access for corporations. Click on "Business", and then CA CODES, then Corporation codes. "O.T.O." is listed by the state of California as a Public Benefit Corporation. There are two "O.T.O"'s listed, with separate numbers:
#C1972383 filed 6-20-96 as OTO USA by Douglas James
Another outsider: "Every person present at that election KNEW they were electing a temporary Caliph, not the OHO. THEY SAID SO! That's the amazing thing to me, there was no ambiguity about what was taking place. I know from your preface that some of them were "rewarded" for not drawing attention to that fact, but what about those persons who have risen through the ranks since then? (I suppose they have been too well-trained to voice dissent!) In my opinion, it was an illegal election from the start--the participants (from what I understand) were not vested with the authority to elect in the first place. They can never, of course, admit this, because to do so would destroy their Caliph's claim to power and probably the COTO as a whole. I'm sure someone is kicking themselves for recording that election ..."
One individual wonders at Heidrick, in the tape where they are going to "do a magical act" and that it needs a witness. He seems concerned, that this "act" has a witness. At the beginning of the meeting, all the participant parties speak about two record machines that are running. There is a discussion whether to tape it at all. It is unanimously agreed to that the tapes should be made. This discussion is both on the tapes and in the minutes. The recordings are 'official' as everyone agreed to them and the meeting was officially a "Member Meeting" (the invitation bears that expression and it was discussed and agreed to this effect at the beginning of the meeting, taped and transcribed).
Apart from that, there is not only the 91 pages transcript, there is a short 11 page summary dated 1987, made by Ianotti. This has the official O.T.O. stationary and Breeze's address and is signed by Ianotti and Wasserman.
The Official Minutes of the Supreme Council O.T.O. Meeting held on September 22nd 1985 state: "Report of the IXth members meeting (9/21/1985) which unanimously elected (at 11:11pm) our new Caliph. The saga of the tapes and the length thereof was recounted, and the effects of the meeting on the Bylaws (i.e. nil) were outlined. The name of the Caliph is available for legal purposes, but not to the general membership. There were two additional initiations which were not reported in detail. There were no changes made in the Officers of Grand Lodge at the Meeting. The meeting was said to have gone very well."
This document is published as a vital part of the History of the 'Caliphate' marking the point when it turned into a firm or company. Under California State law it is the transcript of a membership meeting (also admitted by the participant parties during the session). Although this meeting shows that the involved individuals weren't very much interested in a thorough election (there is constant discussion about money, more comfortable rooms, not meeting too often, formality procedures, there are sexist jokes and inside bashing of the present parties); the minutes lack creative aspects and therefore contain no personal property. According to the law, formal official minutes of such kind can be published without hesitance.
The Transcript of the Election — plus a MP3 file of the audiotape
Discussion about the instrument of succession
Minutes of the Areopagus meeting held on April 29, 2000
James T. Graeb, co-founder and IX° of the 'Caliphate' and its Patrick King-XI°, a lawyer, files suit vs William Breeze, William Heidrick, Marcus Jungkurth et alii in 2001. The case was dismissed in April 2002.
Lawyers and Historians: The 'Caliphate' versus the Truth?
Phantoms of the Paradise
"Ljuben je zakon" or "ljubav pod voljom"? — The O.T.O. in ex-'Yugoslavia'. An example of member activities
Moosebump: the 'Caliphate' in Canada
A lot of pertinent facsimile material can be found at Pictures + Documents
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More about all this in: Andreas Huettl and Peter-R. Koenig: Satan — Jünger, Jäger und Justiz